July 31, 2018

A comprehensive new study says acid emissions from the tar sands could eventually acidify an area the size of Germany.

As reported by Global News, “the study finds that in 2013 more than 330,000 square kilometres in northern Alberta and Saskatchewan absorbed acid deposits high enough to eventually damage life in rivers and lakes.”

“This work is a warning,” said Paul Makar, an Environment Canada scientist and lead author on the paper published in the Journal of Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics.

The research involved scientists at Environment Canada as well as their provincial counterparts in Alberta and Saskatchewan and from Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario.

The scientists looked at 90,000 lakes to determine how different water bodies responded to acids and at what point they would no longer be able to buffer them. That data was used to create a map of carrying capacities across a large area in the northern parts of prairie provinces.

July 31, 2018
Two years ago today Nestlé’s Aberfoyle permit expired. Yet the multi-billion dollar water corporation continues to pump up to 3.6 million litres a day from the Aberfoyle well. Since the permit expired on July 31, 2016, Nestlé has pumped an estimated 1.4 billion litres of water and counting (see our counter for the latest number here).
Nestlé’s permit for the Erin well expired nearly a year ago on August 31, 2017 but Nestlé also continues to pump up to 1.1 million litres each day.
The current legislation allows companies like Nestle to continue to pump water on expired permits if they submit their application before the permit expires. But this problematic legislation allows pumping of groundwater to continue without community input, without the free prior and informed consent of First Nations like Six Nations of the Grand River and without consideration of the impacts on climate change and adequate data on water availability and future demands.
July 31, 2018

The Freedom Flotilla departs for Gaza. Photo from Freedom Flotilla Coalition

As reported by Al Jazeera, "The Awda, carrying at least 23 people, was meant to reach the Gaza port approximately at noon local time on Sunday, but was redirected instead to the Israeli port of Ashdod."

The Freedom Flotilla Coalition, condemning the "violent attack" in international waters, is calling for international action after several members of the Awda's crew were hit and tasered by Israeli forces. The crew was taken to Givon Prison in Israel, where 18 of them remain for a second night.

July 30, 2018

According to Inside U.S. Trade, a NAFTA ministerial meeting will be held in Washington this Thursday and Friday.  The participation of U.S. trade representative Robert Lighthizer and outgoing Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo have been confirmed.  Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland will be in Singapore for the ASEAN summit at that time.

Mexican and U.S. negotiators met in Washington on July 26th, and Canadian cabinet ministers and Mexican ministerial officials met last Wednesday in Mexico City.  Lighthizer is said to believe a deal is possible before the end of August.

July 26, 2018

Red Deer activists draw attention to unprotected lakes and rivers. Photo by the Council of Canadians Red Deer Chapter.

Here is a sampling of the great work by Council of Canadians chapters this week:


The Guelph Chapter celebrated as Guelph City Council passed a motion to investigate "a strategy for the elimination of single-use plastic grocery bags."


The Guelph Chapter reported back on their fight against the proposed glass factory in Guelph/Eramosa Township - celebrating the township's decision to uphold existing bylaws and reject the proposal, but anticipating more work ahead.